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by Dr. Jack Scanlon Sweat ran down my back in beads. Simultaneously, moisture gathered on the nearby tankard containing a cold adult beverage. Damp shirt and frosty mug bore witness to the heat and humidity under which the, “most effective squirrel-proof bird feeder ever made� had just been assembled. A birding enthusiast in Maine had proclaimed that glowing testimonial in the catalog where this engineering miracle was displayed for sale. Another birder, Bob from Connecticut, further testified that he had never before seen squirrels so discouraged by a seed dispenser. R avenous pew ter-f ur red derv ishes had been gobbling large quantities of expensive birdseed from our feeder since early spring. They would not be denied by any barrier erected so far. Squirrels quickly emptied feeders intended for songbirds, and I was fed up. Clearly our gourmands were no more clever than those bushy -tailed Yankee devils. This state-of-the-art rodent-deflecting model seemed to offer salvation. Although its cost was high, I purchased the device and had it shipped below the Mason-Dixon Line to our farm. The expensive feeder arrived in a sturdy cardboard container one hot,

Squirrels are cute until they start tearing things up, or eating all your birdseed. muggy July afternoon. Inside the box were a whole lot of metal parts plus connecting hardware, the latter visible in small plastic baggies. Assembly was clearly required. One large envelope held a 30page instruction manual printed in three languages with two pictures and some line drawings. I read this document’s English section carefully several times before attempt49

September 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times September 2013

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